city mornings

I love the city in the morning.

There’s something clean about it, fresh.  The feeling of a new day, before the heat and the sweat and the anger and the fatigue sets in.  When everyone has a purpose, an agenda … confident that today will be a productive day.

This morning the air that greeted me as I emerged from Jefferson Station was heavy with humidity — no freshness at all in the breeze — instead, the heady aroma of petrol fumes.  I’ve been so tired recently that it’s hard for me to distinguish the difference in vibes, but this morning the entire city felt tired — tired and frustrated and without any optimism.  Everyone walked quickly, and showed their irritation at those who did not … the pedestrians shuffling aimlessly along, seemingly unaware of the rush of morning commuters.

I walk from the train station to Starbucks — I don’t think I could function without my chai latte.  But I pass the entrance to my office, because the Starbucks between the station and the office is terrible — so I go a little further to one where they consistently know how to make my drink properly.  It felt mellow there — somehow there were not throngs of people waiting anxiously in line for their morning java.  And it felt like a nice respite after the hustle and bustle of the train station and the walk down twelfth street.  They are even beginning to know me there and that is always a comfort.

Now I’m here, in my windowless office, not quite sure how to tackle the daunting to-do list that was ceremoniously ignored yesterday in deference to sleep.

Sometimes I forget I have MS.  Sometimes, life feels so good, and I take care of myself just well enough, that things seem fairly normal.  And then there are weeks … days like today… when I am painfully aware of the restrictions that MS has put in place for me.  And I wonder, foggily, how I’m going to get through the things that need to be done and still have job in the morning.

Just two more days, and then the weekend.  And hopefully, more unrestricted sleep.



We have been in our new house for a little over a month.  Six weeks maybe?  I feel as though I’ve lost track of time.  Everything feels different now … as though our apartment — that lovely little cozy nest of our life — is miles away.  It’s still John. And Lucy. And it’s still me.  But everything else feels different.

Which is a good thing.  I think.

We moved in on a Saturday — full of excitement and anticipation.  Waiting first for the moving truck to arrive, and then for our furniture to be wrapped and loaded … and then waiting for things to be unloaded so we could begin to unpack.  All those boxes, packed over weeks and weeks at our old apartment — coming spectacularly undone in a matter of days.

And as our things began emerging from the anonymity of brown cardboard, it started to sink in — that this was our new home.  That hour by hour and day by day, as furniture was put into place and rugs were lined and clothing was unpacked — we began to inhabit the space.

I still look around and feel like a child playing house.  Everything is so pretty and so new (we had to buy a lot of furniture to make the transition from one bedroom apartment to three-story townhouse).  It feels like a dream.  Which I think should feel good … but sometimes it feels a little overwhelming, a little tiring.

I’d like to be at home, in sweatpants with no make-up on, eating Oreos and watching a bad rom-com and feel like it’s home.  But we haven’t quite gotten there yet — it’s all still too new.

It’s a weird conundrum — feeling nervous to use things in your own house.  John and I laugh together at night, talking about how the house is use-able — that is the point.  But I don’t want to ruin all my nice, pretty new things.  I’m so in love with all of it — I can’t bear the thought of ruining anything.

Other things have changed as well.  (Obviously!)  I take the train to work — which I sort of love.  There’s less freedom with timing but just collapsing in a seat and half listening to a book or music, or NFL Radio for an hour — lovely.  However, I am aware that I haven’t encountered a bad weather commute yet — so we’ll see how that goes, as the weather changes and coats and hats and rain and snow and wind are involved.

Lucy now has a dog walker — which is the most amazing thing.  Knowing someone is stopping in mid-day to stretch her legs and allow for a potty break, treats and clean water … it alleviates so much guilt and stress for J & I.  And Lucy is a much happier puppy.  But I wonder if that’s just her walker, or also the house.  The space, the stairs for her to run up and down — she loves it here.

I love it here, too.  I think I love it too much … our new bed and soft bedding, the huge shower and bench where I can actually see things and am able to shave my legs without scarring myself for life … the huge dining room table where we can all sit and eat when visitors come… the fireplace my hubs bought me that hangs the length of our sitting room and crackles at night, mesmerizing me … our deck with its couch and grill and fire pit … my own office, filled with all my knick knacks, my piano, my yoga mat.  My Magnum P.I. photo, my Hines Ward figurine.

I love it so much and yet, I feel as though it isn’t mine, I didn’t earn it, this can’t belong to me.  I know that will fade, as the days begin to shorten, and the leaves turn from green to brilliant oranges and yellows and reds and then wilt to brown before scurrying away in a stiff breeze.  The ‘newness’ and the feeling that I am out-of-place will fade as John and I settle into our home.  As we cook more dinners, and watch more movies on the couch.  But right now, as I re-read my old blog posts, and my affection for our old apartment is so apparent, I feel caught in the in-between.

I don’t miss that apartment.  I don’t miss it at all — which is a little strange.  I like our house, I like my new commute to work — I like living 25 minutes from my parents.  I like the trees, and the rolling fields — the open-ness of our new home.  But it isn’t worn in yet — it’s like a new shiny car that you are afraid to drive until you get that first ding.  And then all of a sudden, it’s your car.

Today I couldn’t open my eyes — John got up and got ready for work and I didn’t even realize.  When I finally cracked an eyelid, he was fully dressed and heading out the door.  He kissed me softly good-bye, gave Lucy a snuggle and was gone.  I dropped my head and was back to sleep.  Hours passed.  I woke up, I got dressed.  Lucy and I went for a walk.  I sat down to work in my beautiful little office.  And then, without thinking much, I walked back to my freshly made bed, wrapped myself in my Steelers blanket, and went back to sleep.

Since that day that we moved into this house, it’s been non-stop.  The excitement of the house, the excitement of guests, the excitement of organizing each room, the excitement of work …. And each Wednesday — the day I have in my schedule to allow me to rest and do my job well Monday and Tuesday and Thursday and Friday  — has been full of work men in and out of the house, fixing all the issues we encountered after move-in.  There hasn’t been a breath, there hasn’t been a moment of stillness.  And that’s not a bad thing, because it’s all been exciting and fun and an adventure.

But my body just gave out today.

And as I woke from my nap, and the rain that had been drumming down earlier had broken, and the haze had lifted, and a clean cool pale yellow sun was stretching across the treetops and through the window, I thought it was about time I sat down and re-visited my blog.

And this day — this day of laziness in my new house — somehow made it feel a little more like home.  And it took some of the weight that had been pulling on my shoulders off — weight I didn’t even know was there.

It still feels a little like some other person’s house — that I’m just visiting, passing through.  But it feels a little less like that every day.